The 10th Anniversary of Devolution Takes Center Stage in Eldoret as Makueni showcases strides made in the devolved unit.
The 8th Devolution Conference commenced in a grand ceremony on Wednesday, drawing over 10,000 delegates from across the country.
Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jr and his Deputy, Lucy Mulili, were among the prominent attendees at this biennial event, which marked the 10-year milestone of Kenya’s devolution journey with Makueni, a leader in Devolution and Development taking a cantre-stage.
The event, held under the theme “10 Years of Devolution: The Present and The Future,” aimed to reflect on the progress achieved over the past decade and discuss strategies for a more prosperous and equitable future.
President William Ruto graced the conference as the chief guest, emphasizing the importance of devolution in advancing the nation’s growth and development.
The conference featured various sessions and discussions on topics ranging from healthcare and education to infrastructure, performance contracting in public service and economic empowerment.
On the side-lines, Governor Mutula said the conference should emphasise on what has not been done in the past 10 years, and going forward what the people needs are.
“The gains of devolutions need to be celebrated. However, although there is no delay in realising funds to counties but I want the national government to ensure there is increase in funds to counties,” said Governor Mutula
During the day’s official opening of the conference, the president together with Council of Governor’s chair, Anne Waiguru, and Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr, the Council of Governors (COG) Legal, Constitutional Affairs, and Intergovernmental Relations Committee chair, launched the devolution book and joint County Bankable Investment Book.
Hundreds of delegates attending the 8th Devolution Conference staged at Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County are flocking to the Makueni Exhibition booth to catch a glimpse of the famous Mango fruit and products on display.
They were mesmerized by the milestones achieved by the devolution unit including the My Makueni County App, a platform that has enhanced quick access to government services and information by the residents.
Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr together with his deputy Lucy Mulili is leading several county officials who are participating in the conference to share the county ‘s 10 years of devolution.
A huge contingent of players from Makueni who excelled in various sports disciplines such as special Olympic games, beach handball, handball, cycling, and football in 2023 across the world on Thursday were feted by H.E Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.
A number of players from Makueni scooped gold medals during the concluded special Olympic games, Berlin, Germany while others participated in beach handball (Tunisia), Handball under20 (Tanzania), and athletics under20 coming home with gold medal in 10,000 metres race and silver in 1,500 metres.
The governor has assured that he will continue supporting sporting activities in the county with a promise of improving Ngakaa talent centre in Makindu and other centres where players have been training.
Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr on Thursday presided over the swearing-in of Makueni Rural Water Board members to manage all rural water schemes.
The board has been tasked with overseeing the running and management of all rural water service providers which are not managed by water companies.
Governor Mutula said good governance remains one of the biggest challenges to universal water access even where adequate water systems exist.
He said his administration is committed to ensuring all residents of Makueni have access to potable water not more than 2 kilometers from their homes.
Separately, the governor has pledged to crash all the cartels standing in the way of land ownership by making titling a difficult affair.
Speaking Thursday during the swearing-in of the Makueni County Physical and Land Use Liaison Committee, Governor Mutula said it is time to change how things are done to make validation of land ownership easy.
“Land cartels must fall! We can’t stick on the old ways of doing things while our people are suffering,” said the governor.
The functions of the committee include: Hearing and determining complaints and claims; Hearing appeals against decisions made by the planning authority; and advising the county executive on broad physical and Land Use planning policies.
At least 93 apprentices under the Ujuzi Teketeke program have finally been issued with start-up kits to start their own businesses by H.E governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.
The program involves an 8-week youth life skills training initiative where learners are attached to established craftsmen for on-the-job training to equip them with industrial skills. Those who successfully complete the training are issued with tools to be their own bosses in various small-scale businesses.
The governor explained that his government will continue bringing forth programs that can make youth become self-reliant.
“We will continue supporting such programs even through Tetheka funding so that youth get some work to do and keep off from crime related activities,” the governor said
Some of the tools issued include: sewing machines, outside catering support (Kandu-dishes, trolleys), salon kits, mechanical repair tools, masonry tools, welding machines, Barber shop kits, car wash machines, shoe-shining stands, plumbing, carpentry, blow-dryers water tanks, among others.
Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr has concluded his one-day intense development tour of Mtito-Andei ward that involved inspecting and commissioning of several projects that impact ordinary citizens with a promise of implementing more development projects that are effective, and to the needs of the locals in that area.
In the morning, the governor opened to the public a Community Information Center (CIC) and a County Technical Institute in Mtito Andei Town and also, through Faith Kenya Mission commissioned a water point that is housing a library in the township where residents as they fetch water can borrow general knowledge books-a path to eradicating illiteracy.
He also commissioned Kwa Diana Misuuni water pipeline that will serve at least 2,600 households drawn from Mitooni, Misuuni,Yindundu,Athi Makutano and songea villages within Kiteng’ei.
In the neighbouring Kyusyani area, accompanied by several partners, he commissioned both science and computer laboratories for Kyusyani Secondary School done through County partnership with Safaricom Foundation, Addax, Oryx and Savo Trust.
In the evening, H.E the governor commissioned Nzoila ECDE public centre which has been build and equipped by the County, a center that will offer conducive learning environment for 46 young learners.
Later, he inspected the Darajani Community Information Centre, attended a free medical camp where 183 residents were screened for various diseases, a camp organized by health department before addressing a public baraza.
2,600 households drawn from Mitooni, Misuuni,Yindundu,Athi Makutano and songea villages within Kiteng’ei, Mtito-Andei ward will benefit greatly following the commissioning of Kwa Diana Misuuni water pipeline by H.E Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jnr.
The water will be sourced from 100 M3 water sump along Kambu River.
Water agenda is the Governor’s priority and he observes that he will ensure he walks his promise to the people.
Mtito-Andei ward residents have something to smile about as the governor opens to the public a Community Information Center (CIC) and a County Technical Institute in Mtito Andei Town. H.E has at the same Township through Faith Kenya Mission commissioned a water point that is housing a library. The aim of the library, a vision borne by Tomi Dobbs, a 10-year-old girl is to eradicate Global Literacy.
The library is richly stocked with numerous books on general knowledge subjects and are available to the public.
Her idea is to have Mtito citizens read as they fetch water thus eradicating both water scarcity and illiteracy.
He has also commissioned both science and computer laboratories for Kyusyani Secondary School projects done through the County partnership with Safaricom Foundation, Addax, Oryx and Tsavo Trust.
The sky is not the limit for Faith Mumo, a young vibrant agripreneur after she hosted a ground breaking ceremony to pave the way for the construction of ‘BEFA FEEDS’ animal feed processing factory to boost her daily processing capacity.
Faith is currently processing 10 Metric Tons of assorted feeds monthly at a rented small facility and is targeting to process 50 Metric Tons hence the need for a bigger premise.
Her agribusiness journey began while serving as an intern at the Makueni County Department of Agriculture, Irrigation, livestock and Fisheries Development, based at the ATC- Kwakathoka, where she received mentorship.
While at ATC, Faith also learned about fingerlings production and mango value addition which she is also practicing at the family Iviani farm in Muvau- Kikumini ward.
She has employed 40 other young people and she is an inspiration to the young generation that agribusiness is a lucrative venture.
The ground breaking ceremony was graced by Agriculture Executive Joyce Mutua, Makueni County Assembly Speaker Douglas Mbilu and other senior county officials on Wednesday at kwakathoka shopping center.